Friday, June 26, 2009

Nothing natural about homeless deaths

Last Friday, 50 year-old Arthur D. Polier was found dead in a tent where he'd living with his girlfriend in a swampy section of Northampton. Police are saying he died of natural causes.

What I guess we can say is that it's natural that a 50 year-old man living in a swamp on the edge of society, should die.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless,
The rates of both chronic and acute health problems are extremely high among the homeless population. With the exception of obesity, strokes, and cancer, homeless people are far more likely to suffer from every category of chronic health problem. Conditions which require regular, uninterrupted treatment, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, hypertension, addictive disorders, and mental disorders, are extremely difficult to treat or control among those without adequate housing.
Many homeless people have multiple health problems. For example, frostbite, leg ulcers and upper respiratory infections are frequent, often the direct result of homelessness. Homeless people are also at greater risk of trauma resulting from muggings, beatings, and rape. Homelessness precludes good nutrition, good personal hygiene, and basic first aid, adding to the complex health needs of homeless people. In addition, some homeless people with mental disorders may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, and those with addictive disorders are also often at risk of HIV and other communicable diseases.
In Anchorage, Alaska, 6 homeless men have been found dead since May.

In Madison, Wisconsin, a 38 year-old man was found dead on a park bench of "natural causes" earlier this month.

A 42-year old homeless, incarcerated man was found dead in his cell on June 12 in the Webb County, Texas jail. he appears to have fallen from his cot but his death is possibly due to complications of heart disease.

Robert "The Lion" Allan, only 41, died suddenly in Camden, UK on Tuesday. Mr,. Allan is being lauded by his friends as a tireless fighter for social justice.

Photo of Robert Allen

No comments: